BY Ryan McDougall | April 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


‘I met cardinals, bishops and even popes,’ says secretary, as she retires after 31 years

St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese has bid a very fond farewell to secretary, Norah Macgennis, who has retired after three decades of faithful service.

“I suppose because I was working for the Church that I have loved my job so much,” Norah said.

“The Archdiocese has been a lovely place to work, there has been great camaraderie with everyone I met, there are so many great people here.”

Norah began her professional life with the archdiocese in 1988 when she was recruited as a secretary working within the Archdiocesan Offices in Edinburgh.


A varied career

Four years later, however, she became personal secretary to Archbishop Keith Patrick O’Brien.

She was due to retire six years ago but offered to stay on ‘for a while longer’ in her post to assist the newly appointed Archbishop Leo Cushley.

“Over the years I have met cardinals, bishops, and even St Pope John Paul II,” recalled Norah.

“I was introduced to him when I was in Rome in 2003 when Archbishop O’Brien was made a cardinal—and then I met Pope Benedict in 2010 when he came to Edinburgh.”



On Wednesday March 27, Archbishop Cushley hosted a farewell reception for Norah at his Edinburgh residence where he bestowed the Archdiocesan Medal for Outstanding Service to the Church upon her.

In attendance were the staff of the Archdiocese along with Norah’s three sisters, Mary, Eileen and Catherine, who made a surprise appearance.

Also present was Norah’s parish priest, Fr Andrew Garden of St David’s in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

“I will absolutely miss all my colleagues and friends, I’ll miss all of them: all the staff, the present and past, all the priests and sisters of the diocese who I have really had so much contact with over these 30 years.”

Leave a Reply

latest news

Mary’s Meals seeking alternate methods of feeding children as schools shut during pandemic

April 3rd, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Mary’s Meals has stated its mission in feeding hungry children...

Cardinal Pell appeal ruling to take place next week

April 3rd, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Australian High Court will deliver its ruling on Cardinal...

Sierra Leone school complex construction well underway thanks to donations to Missio Scotland

April 3rd, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Supporters of the pope's charity for mission can see the...

Church welcomes gender bill delay, but warns it is a ‘temporary move’

April 2nd, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Catholic Parliamentary Office and an MSP have welcomed a...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Unite in prayer against the virus, Paisley bishop pleads
  • Papal award recognises 60 years of Faithful service
  • Catholic high school leads trend with positive outcomes for pupils
  • New memorials celebrate Croy’s proud mining heritage
  • Top Catholic university rolls out programme in Scotland

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO